Preliminary hearing begins for Mascouche fraud trial involving Accurso, ex-Mascouche mayor
Published Tuesday, September 16, 2014 5:32PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 16, 2014 7:16PM EDT
Tony Accurso may be finished with the Charbonneau Commission - but his legal troubles are just beginning.
Accurso appeared in court Tuesday along with businessman Normand Trudel and others facing fraud charges linked to municipal contracts in Mascouche.
Entrepreneur Trudel was one of more than a dozen people arrested by Quebec’s anti-corruption squad UPAC in 2012, after sweeping raids on the north shore.
Other high-profile targets in operation Gravier included former construction magnate Accurso and the former mayor of Mascouche, Richard Marcotte.
All are facing several charges - including fraud, conspiracy, and breach of trust - related to alleged corruption and collusion involving municipal contracts in Mascouche.
Now, lawyers are preparing for their trials.
“Thepreliminary investigation is estimated for a period of 25 days, so there will be roughly 25 witnesses,” said Crown prosecutor Pascal Lescarbeau.
Accurso will not be among those testifying; he opted to skip the preliminary inquiry and go straight to trial.
Former mayor Marcotte was absent Tuesday, and will be for the rest of the preliminary inquiry due to illness.
A publication ban prevents any further details from being released.
“Mr. Marcotte got permission to be absent for justifiable reasons. It doesn't cause any problems for the prosecution,” said Lescharbeau.
The preliminary inquiry is expected to be long. The court has imposed a publication ban on all evidence that will be presented during the process.